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Minecraft Tutorial! Beacons


This is a beacon.

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Level 29 : Expert Dragonborn

Hello and welcome to another tutorial about beacons!

About the beacon

A Beacon is a block used to provide both a unique landmark, and selected buffs to all players in the vicinity. It is activated by placing it as the final block on top of a pyramid formation made up of one to four levels of mineral blocks: Diamond Blocks, Emerald Blocks, Gold Blocks, or Iron Blocks, in any combination.

The smallest pyramid that can be made to work with the Beacon block has 1 level and consists of 9 mineral blocks. By widening a pyramid by one block across an entire side, you can widen the pyramid, allowing you to place another Beacon without having to build an additional individual pyramid, which saves time, space, and resources.

With a viable pyramid beneath it, a Beacon will emit a blue beam of light into the sky, and its GUI will be available for choosing and activating the desired enhancements. The range of these effects varies with the pyramid size. All players within range will have the chosen effect applied every few seconds, but when players move out of range, the effect will expire within 4o 8 seconds.

Beacon blocks provide two unique functions:
  • An aesthetic landmark beam reaching into the sky, which can be visible from far away
  • A functioning Beam is required in order to produce Powers, which buff players within a certain radius

Beacon blocks can also function as ordinary light sources, as they are brighter than Torches with the same luminance and underwater function as Glowstone and Jack 'O' Lanterns. A pyramid is not required in order for Beacon blocks to emit ordinary light. Due to the rare crafting ingredients required for Beacons, Glowstone and Jack 'o' Lanterns generally make more sense for use in Survival mode, though Beacons offer Creative mode players an aesthetic alternative. Despite their bottom surfaces being dark-colored (possibly intended to represent the obsidian in their crafting recipe), beacon blocks emit equal light from each of their sides, including their bottoms.


Beacons must be placed atop pyramid structures constructed from Iron Blocks, Gold Blocks, Emerald Blocks, or Diamond Blocks. They must also have a clear view of the sky with no obstructions. The type of block used to build the pyramid is entirely cosmetic and has no functional effect, so using the cheapest option (Iron Blocks) makes the most sense in Survival mode. Several different block types can also be mixed without affecting functionality.

The smallest pyramid that will make a Beacon block work is a simple single layer of 9 mineral blocks arranged in a 3x3 horizontal square. The Beacon block should then be placed on top of this square, in the center. See below for details on other pyramid sizes.

When constructed correctly, and after a short delay, the Beacon will emit a blue beam of light into the sky; although at this point the Beacon beam is purely aesthetic. The beam of light is visible from up to 170 blocks away, depending on render distance. This provides a useful marker for short to mid-range gameplay.

Once the Beacon is emitting a beam, it can then be "fed" an Iron Ingot, Gold Ingot, Emerald, or Diamond, in order to provide Powers (buffs, or boosters, similar to those that might come from Potions) to players who remain within a certain radius. This is done through the Beacon's GUI, which is displayed by right-clicking the Beacon block.

In the GUI, place the item to be fed in the empty slot shown, and choose a Primary Power by clicking one of the choices displayed. Beacons sitting atop 4-level pyramids will also display Secondary Power choices, one of which can be clicked to provide a second simultaneous boost. When the "Done" button (green check mark) is clicked, the item will be consumed and the Power(s) will be activated. To set a Beacon to different Powers, another item must be consumed.

The more levels a pyramid has, the more Powers will be available to choose from, and the wider its area-of-effect will be. There are currently four possible pyramid heights:

  • 1-Level Pyramid: requires 9 mineral blocks + 1 Beacon block (3x3 base)
  • 2-Level Pyramid: requires 34 mineral blocks + 1 Beacon block (5x5 base + 3x3)
  • 3-Level Pyramid: requires 83 mineral blocks + 1 Beacon block (7x7 base + 5x5 + 3x3)
  • 4-Level Pyramid: requires 164 mineral blocks + 1 Beacon block (9x9 base + 7x7 + 5x5 + 3x3

GlassGlassGlass GlassNether StarGlassObsidianObsidianObsidian You need 3 obsidian, 5 glass, and a nether star! I hope this tutorial helped you and see you guys next time!

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  • tomtheebomb
  • Level 5
  • Apprentice Architect
  • June 8, 2013, 11:13 am

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